Is RAV4 Smaller Than 4Runner? Enjoy These Friendly Comparison

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When it comes to comparing the Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota 4Runner, size is an important factor to consider.

You might be wondering if the RAV4 is smaller than the 4Runner. Simply put, yes, the RAV4 is indeed smaller than the 4Runner.

The RAV4 is a crossover SUV, which offers a comfortable ride with the practicality of increased ride height.

On the other hand, the 4Runner is a traditional body-on-frame SUV, designed for off-road capability and more cargo space. The choice between the two depends on your needs and preferences.

Is RAV4 Smaller Than 4Runner

RAV4 and 4Runner Overview

This CarBuzz article expressly stated that Toyota RAV4 is a compact crossover SUV, while the Toyota 4Runner is a mid-sized SUV. As a RAV4 driver, you’ll enjoy the refinement and practicality of a passenger car blended with a higher ride height.

On the other hand, the best 4Runner offers impressive off-road capabilities, perfect for your adventurous spirit.

To put it simply, if you’re seeking a smaller SUV, the RAV4 is likely a better fit for you.

Size Comparison

When comparing the Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota 4Runner, one main difference is their size. The RAV4 is a crossover SUV, designed with a more compact frame for easier maneuverability and better fuel efficiency.

In contrast, the 4Runner is a larger, traditional body-on-frame SUV, offering more off-road capabilities and a spacious interior.

Here’s a brief comparison of the key dimensions:

Dimension Toyota RAV4 Toyota 4Runner
Length 180.9 inches 191.3 inches
Width 73 inches 75.8 inches
Height 67 inches 71.5 inches
Wheelbase 105.9 inches 109.8 inches

As you can see, the 4Runner is longer, wider, and taller than the RAV4. The wheelbase, which impacts stability and ride comfort, is also longer in the 4Runner.

This size difference translates into increased cargo capacity and space in the 4Runner, but the RAV4 provides a more comfortable ride quality and improved fuel efficiency.

Passenger and Cargo Space

When comparing the RAV4 and the 4Runner, you’ll notice a few differences in passenger and cargo space.

The RAV4 offers 41 inches of front legroom and 37.8 inches for rear passengers, while the 4Runner gives only a tad more space with 41.7 inches up front.

However, the 4Runner does provide more cargo capacity, boasting up to 89.7 cubic feet when compared to the RAV4’s 69.8 cubic feet. While both vehicles have a five-passenger seating capacity, the three-row 4Runner can seat up to seven people.

RELATED: Here is a related piece: Is RAV4 AWD or 4WD or both? And, what is the difference between RAV4 XLE and XLE Premium and other trims?

Performance and Capabilities

When comparing the RAV4 and 4Runner, you’ll notice differences in their performance and capabilities.

The RAV4 comes with a 2.5L Inline-4 Gas engine, while the 4Runner boasts a more powerful 4.0L V6 Gas engine. Because of this, the 4Runner has superior horsepower and torque.

In terms of handling, the RAV4 is designed for a more comfortable ride with greater refinement. On the other hand, the 4Runner’s body-on-frame structure provides exceptional off-road capabilities.

When it comes to towing capacity, the 4Runner can tow up to 5,000 lbs, while the RAV4 can tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs. Keep these key facts in mind when considering your needs in a vehicle.

Drivetrain and Transmission Options

The RAV4 offers an efficient 2.5-liter engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission, providing fuel efficiency of up to 28 city/35 highway mpg. You can opt for front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, depending on your preferences.

On the other hand, the 4Runner has a more powerful 4.0-liter engine with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

The trade-off comes in mpg, as it offers 16 city/19 highway mpg. The 4Runner comes standard with 4WD, making it suitable for more rugged adventures.

In summary, if you prioritize fuel efficiency, consider the RAV4; if off-roading is a must, the 4Runner might be your choice.

Price and Cost Comparison

When comparing the 2023 Toyota 4Runner and RAV4, you’ll notice a difference in price. The 4Runner starts at a slightly higher $40,155 MSRP for the SR5 2WD configuration, while the RAV4 begins at a more affordable $26,525 for the base-level LE trim.

Keep in mind that incentives, warranty, and invoice price can affect the total cost. Although both vehicles have various trim levels, your RAV4 options may extend up to $37,575 for the Hybrid Limited edition.

Here’s a table of key facts:

Model Starting Price Trim
4Runner $40,155 SR5 2WD
RAV4 $26,525 LE
RAV4 $37,575 Hybrid Limited


Safety and Comfort Features

Your RAV4 offers a suite of safety features to keep you and your passengers protected, with a cozy interior and comfortable seats.

Meanwhile, the 4Runner provides more seating capacity, perfect for families or groups. Both SUVs boast JBL audio systems for an immersive listening experience, and you can trust their reliability, as they are Toyota vehicles.

Fuel Economy and Efficiency

Your Toyota RAV4 offers better fuel economy than its counterpart, the Toyota 4Runner. In city driving, the RAV4 achieves 27 MPG while the 4Runner manages only 16 MPG.

On the highway, the difference is even greater, with the RAV4 reaching 35 MPG compared to the 4Runner’s 19 MPG.

This difference is mainly due to the more efficient engine in the RAV4. By choosing the RAV4, you’ll save on gas and reduce your environmental footprint. Keep these factors in mind when deciding between the two vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the dimensions of RAV4 and 4Runner compare?

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV with a length of 180.9 inches and a width of 73 inches, making it smaller than the Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner, a midsize SUV, measures 191.3 inches in length and 75.8 inches in width.

Which vehicle offers more cargo space: RAV4 or 4Runner?

While the RAV4 does offer a decent amount of cargo space for a compact SUV, the 4Runner’s larger dimensions translate to more cargo capacity. The 4Runner has a spacious cabin and cargo area, making it more suitable for those needing extra room.

Are there any notable differences in safety ratings?

Both the RAV4 and the 4Runner have earned good safety ratings, but the RAV4 has generally received higher ratings, particularly in crash test performance. Additionally, the RAV4 comes with a suite of advanced safety features that are not available in the 4Runner.

How do the prices of RAV4 and 4Runner differ?

The RAV4 is generally more affordable than the 4Runner, with a lower starting price and lower cost of ownership. However, the 4Runner’s higher price tag is justified by its increased off-road capabilities and more spacious interior.

Which model performs better off-road: RAV4 or 4Runner?

The 4Runner is designed to be more capable off-road, due to its traditional body-on-frame construction and available off-road features. The RAV4, being a crossover SUV, is more refined but not as well-equipped for off-road adventures.

Is there a difference in reliability between RAV4 and 4Runner?

Toyota vehicles are known for their reliability, and both the RAV4 and 4Runner are no exception. However, as a body-on-frame SUV with fewer modern features, the 4Runner is generally considered to be more robust and has a reputation for lasting longer with fewer issues


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